I've just enjoyed this excellent clip of Philip Hammond from Daily Politics. Andrew Neil was a bit bullying with him, and Hammond kept his nerve. But Neil teased out a couple of key points:
1. The Tories have promised 17 new Quangoes but can only currently name 2 which they would get rid of, despite having been in opposition for twelve years and the concept of Quangoes having been around for 30+ years. So, in terms of named bodies, they are currently proposing to actually increase the number of Quangoes by a net total of 15.
2. The Tories quote an average of £658,000 annual salary for the Top 20 Quango executives but couldn't provide the Top 20 list yesterday. Now they have provided the list, it includes the BBC who even Philip Hammond, admittedly under leading questioning from Neil, admits is not a Quango. The list also includes executives of several bodies which are not even within the scope of the Tories own definition of a Quango.
My favourite quote from the interview from Hammond:
I can't promise you about the potato board, because we haven't looked at that in detail.